What strategy is most effective for combating summer learning loss?

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Clinical Psychologist & Author of The Homework Trap

I think the key regarding

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I think the key regarding summer learning loss, as it is in most areas of life, is to accept the realities as they are. I wouldn't recommend "combating" summer learning loss. Rather, I recommend making plans based on the assumption that there will be some learning loss so you simply pick up where you think the student will be. It is really no different from my position on dealing with parents who seem problematic because they do not support homework the way in which teachers think they should. People are different. Parents take different attitudes about school. Once you accept that reality, you can go on and devise strategies based on what is real, not on the way you wish things would be. The necessary conclusion for that issue is to diminish reliance on homework and reduce penalties for work that may not get done. www.thehomeworktrap.com.

After School care at the Austin Discovery School (Challenge School)

At summer camp we are teaching and playing!*

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We have a good selections of (manditory) subjects which we make fun so the children want to participate! It is a good time for us to see what some of the children are missing in their own academic advancements and to help them along. I think the children will feel more confident when they get back to school this September.*

I agree totally with year

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I agree totally with year round school with breaks throughout the year. My current runs that program, while offering some special electives during the summer but we still have parents who pull their children out for 2-3 months. For my special education students it is like lossing and entire year. For some we have to start to relearn the fragile skills that barely took hold during the school years. It is frustrating to be the teacher who has to restart a program in reading that was almost mastered. Margie

I enjoy the year round school

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I enjoy the year round school debate. Before I wrote my Master's Thesis, I thought I was against year round schooling. I asked the same questions as T Siembor asked above...who is going to pay and will they really come? During my extensive research on the topic, I discovered that much to my surprise there really are not substantial costs associated with year round schooling. You still get the same amount of day off from school as in the traditional design; they are simply spread out over the course of the year. I found the benefits to outweigh the detriments. With the model I studied, I discovered a few things:
1. Teacher and student absenteeism was reduced and moral was increased because they were given breaks throughout the year more often.
2. Teachers could opt to teach during the intersession (the scheduled time off) or they could take the time off. Those who taught were teaching topics that the curriculum did not cover and that were of interest to them and their students. This did not pose a cost issue as it was the same had teachers been hired to teach summer school.
In any event, prior to my research I was against year round schooling, mainly because I felt sure that I would be asked to do more work for the same or less money. Once I completed my research, interviewed teachers, students, and administrators, I became a fan of year round schooling and believe that it is the answer to student knowledge retention.

I'm all for year - long

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I'm all for year - long school with well - placed breaks. Until this happens (which I'm convinced that it will) I believe that we should be encouraging students to do ANYTHING that will expand their background knowledge. I spend my summers encouraging my students to do things & share their experiences through blogs & wikis (go to museums, read, etc.). I've also met my students during breaks to do those things that will help build background knowledge.

Although I also teach summer school, I have found that when we make it FUN for the children, they make more gains. The years I have done this, more students have increased their reading level over the summer. We play games & do a variety of activities to bolster background.

Staying in touch

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I use email to stay in touch with students and parents through the school year. During the summer I send links to some of the programs we use in school, as well as occasional articles and information. The articles generally cover something we studied in class. The information includes events scheduled as part of the city library's summer reading program. Little bits of encouragement to keep academics fresh in their minds.

Summer School

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If our school had a program like L. Hoffman's parents would be fighting to get their kids into it!

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You took the words out of my mouth. I totally agree with you.

get thee to a garden!

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hands-on garden-based education! keep them active, engaged, and dirty--that's the reason they have summer vacation in the first place!

Parent and substitute teacher

I absolutely agree with

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I absolutely agree with you!!!

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